The Baluarte is also known the zoo owned by Chavit Singson. This zoo sits on top of a 80-hectare land on top of hills and mountains. There are still on-going construction around the different areas but what it currently has is already magnificent. It is just a 10-minute drive from Vigan City.
When I heard that Baluarte was one of the places we were going to visit in our tour, I thought it was some kind of a forest with a lot of trees. But obviously I didn't have any idea. When we arrived at the place, I was surprised to see a lot of animals. It was a zoo! A zoo that was way too better than that of Manila Zoo. The animals they showcased were ones that you will not find anywhere else in the Philippines. And they sure were fed and cared properly. Can't help to compare with Manila Zoo, but Baluarte is sure funded very well for its maintenance and well being.
Just as we entered the compound, a number of parrots welcomed us standing on their wooden stands. The parrots were quite quiet unlike what we see in other places where they keep on sounding off and even talking.
As we went further inside, it was really nice to see some of the animals walking around freely without any leash or guard. I would assume that they were properly trained not to hurt people. We saw a lot of ponies, some yak and ostriches enjoying the wide area. I wanted to hold the pony, but I hesitated because it might react negatively. You can also have a pony ride. It was like a "kalesa" where there's a chariot-like attached to the back of the pony, and it would circle around the race track.
The rest of the other more dangerous animals were locked up in cages. As we climbed up the ramp walkway, we saw a lot of reindeers, peacocks, and tigers.
Here's another shot of a different tiger resting inside the room.
On our way down back to the lower part of the Baluarte, we saw an interesting tree... a tree with golden leaves sitting on top of the mountain. The color might have looked like gold because of the sunlight =)
Then the reptiles occupied their own places in the aquariums. The python snake, turtle, and iguana.
And the biggest reptile of them all...